Bryan Talkish, Lead Motion Designer at Already Been Chewed
Where do you work and what is your current title?
I currently work at Already Been Chewed, a design and motion studio, as a lead motion designer. We create motion visuals and illustrative artwork for a wide range of clients from Nike to MTV to Nixon.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself & your background.
I graduated with a BFA in Cinema and Digital Arts. The program focused more around cinematography and editing of footage, rather than motion graphics and post VFX, but this would later be a huge help with creating scenes, compositions, and blocking out animations after my first step into the industry.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I knew I wanted to create moving visuals before jumping into school, but that was about it. I didn’t know what medium I wanted to do it in and it wasn’t until I landed my first job during my senior year of college that I found my fascination with motion graphics. A professor who taught classes at my school was also working at a production house at the time, and he had mentioned an opening for a part-time editing position. I pursued the opportunity and it eventually turned into a full-time job.
What was your first design job? Any interesting stories about how you broke into the field?
The job was primarily for editing and shooting footage with some motion work here and there. My role slowly started to shift from editor to motion designer as I spent more and more time researching, using and executing tasks in After Effects day after day. I was hooked. My research inevitably took me to amazing industry websites using a lot of 3D in conjunction with compositing 2D software. It all looked so daunting to me at first. My mind was blown, and I saw how both 2D VFX and 3D worked so seamlessly with each other. From there I made it my goal to pick a 3D package, learn as much as I could, and find out how it worked with post compositing (In my case, I went with Maxon’s Cinema 4D). I noticed the same shift as before, this time it was from 2D to 3D work — using one more than the other over time. It was really important to use my new discoveries and apply them to a project. If I wasn’t working on a project that would allow me to flex some ideas, then I’d create self-initiated projects with some sort of beginning, middle, and end — whether that be 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or a minute plus.
Please describe a normal day at your current job. What’s the workflow like? What are your primary responsibilities?
There are two normal days. One is creating, designing and pitching visuals. The other is revision work. The workflow usually starts with style boards which consists of the core design/mood, or even sometimes storyboards if the project calls for it (usually projects with a script require some sort of storyboarding). In that case it would go storyboards, style boards, animation, compositing. The boards are sent to the client for approval. Depending on their feedback, it would go to the next phase. Throughout this entire process there are revisions to each stage. Some days are filled with creating, others are making changes to whichever phase of the project you’re on. I’m usually involved in each step of the process from concept, to execution, to final delivery.
What’s a common mistake you often see entry level designers make? What are some tips to avoid or overcome it?
A common mistake I’ve noticed with entry level creatives is getting held up on the small stuff — an asset part of the bigger whole — something that isn’t going to have a major role to play in the bigger picture of the project. For example, if you’re designing and animating a techy device and an out-of-focus element in the background eats away several hours of production time by adding high amounts of detail, move on and come back to it if time allows. Assess the essentials first, then nail down how important each asset is to the project.
There’s something new and amazing coming out every day. What’s something awesome you’ve seen recently that you’re dying to share, or something you’re excited about?
For sure, there are so many good resources out there for this stuff. Viewing amazing work and trends on Behance and Vimeo — there’s a lot of incredible work to help inspire at these two spots. HelloLuxx, GreyscaleGorilla, and Pixel Lab are great places to visit for tips and tricks. C4D cafe is great for troubleshooting, some great forums there. The list goes on, but these are some solid places to check out.
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the industry?
The advice I can give to break into the field is to create something every day, whether that be jotting down notes, sketching out ideas, designing illustrative artwork, or creating experimental animations, and then turn that into a full-fledged project with nice presentation — client or not, but set a goal, a timeline, and stick to it. This practice will help build yourself up, find a skill set, and increase your chances of landing a job.
The video above, titled “AsDroid”, was recently case studied on Howww.com.